Not all batteries recharge the same way

September 14, 2008

I am writing this from the front porch of my friend’s Jan and David’s beautiful home in Castle Valley, Utah. Poetic writers would write something about the green leaves of the cotton wood trees rustling in the valley, or the way the green of the valley floor contrasts against the iconic red cliffs that form the valley walls, or the cloudless, electric blue sky above, or the back yard that would be a professional rock climber’s ecstasy. But I am not writer and quite honestly I am at a lack for words. Suffice it to say, this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and the house — called “The Smithsonian” by neighbors for its treasure of odd cultural icons from around the world spanning the last couple centuries — is simultaneously welcoming, wonderfully majestic, and seeming like a part of the valley itself.

Coming here was as much about running away as running toward. I know I am supposed to be here now because getting here wasn’t easy, but the timing couldn’t have been better. I had been debating on taking this trip for months when my friend Graham mentioned it and all the pieces started to fall into place. For some reason I resisted until my boss (one of four) informed me that I had 15 min. to decide whether or not I was going so she knew whether to include me for an industry awards dinner. For some reason, in that moment, when the trip was no longer a multitude of pros and cons and a maze of complexities, but a simple yes or no that had to be answered right now, “yes” was the only answer.

For reasons too numerous to list, I got off to a very late start, changed plans, changed cars, went to the bank, ran a few errands for my sister (who was coming down for a couple days), but the time didn’t seem to bother me. I was going on a trip, on vacation, and I knew it was going to be great. On the drive down, I occupied my mind with old episodes of “This American Life,” listening to Ira Glass talk about the Bobby Dunlap story and how he really was a kid named Bruce, and how John Hodgeman had become a reluctant television star from his role as “PC” on the Apple commercials. But when I hit Glenwood Canyon, my eyes took over from my ears. The towering rock walls were bathed in the warm late afternoon sunlight while the Colorado river alternately roared and meandered through the valley it carved over eons. The beauty was breathtaking and in that moment I knew this was right. All of it. The trip, the timing, even getting delayed a couple hours.

Now I sit here, in near silence except for the sounds of the endlessly aggressive humming birds, watching the sun arc its way across the sky and the late afternoon light beginning to make the surrounding mountains glow, with no cell service and no way to contact my friends that I am supposed to be meeting with, somehow knowing that it will just work out.

Post trip edit:
Well the idea of daily blogging about the trip lost out to the reality limited time and energy, coupled with a full throttle schedule. The trip was a mix of nearly every emotion at one time or another, and as usual with me, the pictures tell the story. (Also galleries one and two from the Land Rover National Rally)

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